From online dispatches
The group's message on Facebook.
A Salafi group called the "Popular Egyptian Islamic Association" has warned Muslims against eating tomatoes on the grounds that the fruit is a "Christian food," NowLebanon.com has reported.
The group based its claim on the fact that a shape resembling a cross is revealed when one cuts a tomato in half.
The association published the warning on its Facebook page with a photo of a tomato cut in half, revealing a cross-shaped interior.
A message posted on the page read, "Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three [in reference to the Holy Trinity]."
The message went on to say, "I implore you to spread this photo because there is a sister from Palestine who saw the Prophet of Allah in a vision and he was crying, warning his nation against eating [tomatoes]. If you don’t spread this [message], know that it is the devil who stopped you.”
The message caused outrage among Facebook users, which prompted the group to clarify their warning, saying they did not tell people not to eat tomatoes. "We said don’t cut it in [such a way that it reveals] the cross shape.”